Hello and welcome to Deep Purple land.
This time, we're running a slightly off-topic editorial which the maintainers of the WWW pages strong-armed me into writing :-) I should tell you that I run the Greek DP fan club, and, strange as it may seem, this has arisen out of necessity. See, over here Purple have always been one of the top 3 most popular bands (notching up total sales of over half a million copies-in other words, one out of 20 Greek people own a Purple album!) but the press has never been too generous in its coverage of all things Purple.
So I'm a naive 19-year old in 1982, passionate about DP ever since I first heard them in 1974, and I think I'm gonna change all this, so I join the staff of the most prominent music mag, and I start writing about Purple (OK, and other things, I had a rent to pay ! ;--) By 1992, I had started to present a radio and TV show, needless to say that they've always been an oasis for Purple-starved people, and the next step was to actually devote an effort to DP exclusively, hence the fan club. I must say that the most prominent inspiration had been Simon Robinson's DPAS, which I'd been a member of since 1982. So I do the proper thing, ask Simon for permission (gracefully given), and next thing I know I'm slaving over a Mac laying a fanzine out, on a DTP thingy called Ready Set Go (goodness!), splashing out on a couple of press ads, and lo and behold, there's letters from all over the place requesting subscriptions!
The first issue of Purple Press was released in June 1992, six photocopied pages crammed with as much info as I could. Soon membership grew to around 150 people, including folk from all over the world, plus other fan clubs with which a network of information developed. Come issue 11 (June 1995), I decided to take the big leap and go to the printers. Sixteen offset pages, Ritchie Blackmore on the front cover, Steve Morse on the back (talk about non-discrimination!) and a huge bill but there you go, I'm not doing this for profit, it's for furthering The Cause :-) By issue 12 a 2-3 page supplement in English was added, cos I thought, well mad collectors may want to have anything with the name "Deep Purple" printed on it, but no harm done if it's a bit useful, too!
Now I'm working on issue 14, which in truth is number 15 because there was an issue number 5-and-a-half (weird? Moi? Naah!). It should be out in late July/early August, I think. Every issue I try to have a good cross-section of all matters Purple. There's news and reports from all active camps (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Glenn Hughes, Ian Gillan, Nick Simper etc.), I try to see a couple of concerts every major tour and maybe do an interview, plus readers' letters, a Q&A section, record reviews, and a couple of retrospectives-there are members who weren't even born when Purple were around the first time. I write most of it myself, with contributions from folk I correspond with, and I must say that the 'net has been a major boost, with the quick turnover of news and the invaluable input from people like the regulars in a.m.d-p and members of the band or the band's management. Interest in Greece has been tremendous : Purple are as popular as the've ever been and it encourages me no end when I get requests from 15-16-year olds who now discover the magic of Deep Purple through Machine Head (as I did so long ago), In Rock, even Purpendicular.
For the next step, I'm seriously considering doing a colour cover, but I'll have to ask the bank manager about this first... ;-) I think now is one of the best times to run a DP fan club : two major bands recording and touring, plus a plethora of activity from memebers past and present, lots of information available, full support from managements and bands alike, what more can a man ask for? (An editor, that's what! I tried to keep this short, honest I did!)"
Stathis N. Panagiotopoulos
Deep Purple Appreciation Society, Greece
P.O. Box 50322, Thessaloniki 54013,Greece
"Would you bet your easy money on the
Christians or the lions?"
-IG, Gunga Din
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